Gaudu and Roglic elevate themselves to glory

November 7 th 2020 - 17:28 [GMT + 1]

The final mountain stage of La Vuelta 20 has crowned David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), who claimed his second stage win atop the climb to the Alto de La Covatilla, and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who managed to save La Roja despite a powerful attack from Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). The Frenchman made his way to a solo victory after spending the whole day at the front of the race, dropping all his breakaway companions on the last slopes. Roglic lost 21’’ to Carapaz but he still leads the GC with a 24’’ gap on the eve of the final stage to Madrid. The Slovenian champion is set to dominate the overall standings for the second year in a row.

The final climbing challenges of La Vuelta 20 inspire many attackers. 34 riders get away after 19km of battle. Among them, David de la Cruz is the best classified on GC (10th, +9’29’’) and he enjoys the support of three UAE Team Emirates riders: Rui Costa, Sergio Henao and Ivo Oliveira. Groupama-FDJ’s David Gaudu, already winner at La Farrapona, is another GC threat (11th, +10’51’’).

Ion Izagirre (Astana) also chases his second stage win in La Vuelta 20, while Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) rides at the front on some unfriendly terrain for his sprinting abilities. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) shows his polka-dot jersey again at the front, with the support of Victor Lafay and José Herrada. Team Sunweb also manage to put three riders in the breakaway: Mark Donovan, Michael Storer and Jasha Sütterlin.

Movistar put pressure on Roglic

UAE and Groupama-FDJ riders drive the breakaway to open a maximum gap of 4’07’’ at km 68. Primoz Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the bunch over the first ascents of the day, until Movistar take over with 61km to go.

The Spanish team put the hammer down and immediately create splits in the bunch. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) is among the riders off the back but he quickly returns with the help of one teammate. Movistar maintain a hard pace over the Alto de Peñacaballera and the gap is down to 2’17’’ at the bottom of the penultimate climb of the day, the Alto de la Garganta.

Soler on the move

Marc Soler (Movistar) accelerates 31km away from the line. Imanol Erviti, who was part of the breakaway, waits for him. They trail by 30’’ at the summit (26.2km to go). The GC group, led by Jumbo-Visma, is 1’ further behind. Soler eventually bridges the gap with 19km to go. The peloton then trail by 2’15’’.

Gino Mäder (NTT), Mark Donovan and Ion Izagirre enjoy a cobbled uphill section to attack their breakaway companions 18km away from the line. They reach the bottom of the final climb to La Covatilla (11.4km, 7.1%) with a 40’’ lead while the gap to the bunch is up to 4 minutes.

All in for Gaudu and Carapaz

Ion Izagirre accelerates twice, with 7km to go and 1km later to drop his two companions but David Gaudu gets back to him 4.5km away from the summit and immediately attacks to solo away to his second stage victory.

Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) opens up the GC battle inside the last 5km. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) goes with 3.5km and nobody can follow his powerful attack. Primoz Roglic enjoys the support of breakaway members Lennard Hofstede (Jumbo-Visma) and Marc Soler to limit his losses and save La Roja for 24’’.

Highlights - Stage 17 | La Vuelta 20
07/11 - La Vuelta 2020 - Etapa 17 - Sequeros-Alto de La Covatilla
07/11 - La Vuelta 2020 - Etapa 17 - Sequeros-Alto de La Covatilla © Unipublic/Charly López

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